- Leading English soda maker Nyetimber said this year will see its biggest harvest
- This is due to a lack of winter frost and warm, sunny weather in spring
The corks are popping at British sparkling wine producers who have announced their largest wine harvest to date.
Nyetimber, a leading producer of English sparkling water, said this year will be its biggest harvest.
About 865 acres (350 hectares) would be harvested, it said – 7.7 percent more than last year (325 hectares).
And Nyetimber is not alone – the UK wine industry as a whole has had a vintage year.
A lack of winter frost and warm, sunny weather in spring during the flowering period have resulted in a bumper crop, growers said.
The corks are popping at British sparkling wine producers who have announced their largest wine harvest to date
Britain’s largest winemaker, Chapel Down, said this week its 2023 vintage would be “of exceptional quality and with record-breaking volume and yield”.
Sales rose 21 percent to £8.4 million in the six months to June 30 this year.
According to industry association Wine GB, vineyards are booming.
The latest report states that UK vineyards have grown by 74 percent since 2017 and there are currently almost 4,000 hectares planted with vines.
By 2032 there should be 7,600 hectares.
The main grape varieties grown are Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.
Most wine growing takes place in England, with only 70.3 hectares in Wales and 1.9 hectares in Scotland.
Kent, West Sussex and East Sussex are the counties where most grapes are grown.
The calcareous soil in the south allows for conditions similar to those in the Champagne region of France, and warmer temperatures in recent years have resulted in higher sugar levels in the grapes, allowing for higher alcohol levels.
Nyetimber, a leading producer of English sparkling water, said this year will be its biggest harvest
Around 4.8 tons of wine can be produced on one hectare.
English wine production has increased by 130 percent in just five years, with 12.2 million bottles produced in 2022, 68 percent of which were English sparkling wine.
Brad Greatrix, senior winemaker at Nyetimber, said: “There are always a few hurdles to overcome before we can understand the final volume and, more importantly, the quality of the grapes.”
“We have only had minor and localized frost events this season and the weather was favorable during the flowering period.
“This year we will harvest a larger vineyard area of 350 hectares, compared to 325 hectares in 2022.”